Destiny has finally added private matches, allowing players to sidestep Bungie's curated selection of playlists for their own take on competitive multiplayer, allowing you to select specific maps, modes and more against your friends. As well as reviving multiplayer as the game enters its third year, it opens the door to plenty of new ways to play Crucible, and earn certain Bounty and Grimoire rewards differently too.
How do you start a Private Match in Destiny?
As part of the Rise of Iron September update, all Destiny players - regardless of what expansions they have, including Rise of Iron - can participate in Private Matches. To set up a match, go into the Crucible playlist menu, select the central option, and you can then select a mode, map and change other settings.
As the name suggests, you cannot matchmake in Private Matches - you can only play against those in your Fireteam - but can play with up to 12 people at once, with a maximum of six per side. You can also go in solo, too.
What options are allowed Private Matches in Destiny?
The options available in Private Matches are pretty wide-ranging; you can select any of the game's maps (provided you have the expansion that unlocks them) and toggle on vehicles and times of day, if supported. All maps also allow you to tweak their score and time limits, as well as toggle Light Level if you fancy taking gear into account. Here's a run-down of everything available:
- Control - "Capture zones to increase points for every kill."
- Clash - "All-out team warfare. Destroy the enemy."
- Supremacy - "Defeat your opponents and take their Crests."
- Rift - "Collect the Spark, and ignite the enemy's Rift with it."
- Skirmish - "Small-team tactics. Kill the enemy. Revive teammates."
- Elimination - "Small-team tactics. Revive teammates to keep fighting. Bring down the entire opposing team to claim victory."
- Rumble - "Kill everything. Watch your back."
- Salvage - "Race the other team to capture and hold relics."
- Zone Control - "Capture and hold zones to win."
- Rumble Supremacy - "Solo battle for glory. Watch your back. Defeat your opponents. Take their Crests."
- Inferno Clash - "All-out team warfare. Destroy the enemy. Simplified scoring and no trackers."
- Inferno Control - "All-out team warfare. Destroy the enemy. Simplified scoring and no trackers."
- Inferno Warfare - "Kill everything. Watch your back. No trackers. Only kills earn points."
- Inferno Salvage - "Race the other team to capture and hold relics. Simplified scoring and no trackers."
- Inferno Skirmish - "Small-team tactics. Kill the enemy. Revive teammates. Simplified scoring and no trackers."
- Inferno Elimination - "Small-team tactics. Bring down the entire opposing team to claim victory."
- Inferno Supremacy - "Defeat your opponents and take their Crests. No trackers."
- Mayhem Clash - "Embrace the chaos. Greatly increased ability recharge rates. Faster Special and Heavy Ammo spawns. No respawn delay. Scoring values multiplied by 10."
- Mayhem Rumble - "Solo battle. Greatly increased ability recharge rates. Faster Special Weapon and Heavy Ammo spawns. No respawn delay. Scoring values multiplied by 10."
When seasonal event The Dawning concludes, expect to see Sparrow Racing League added to the above list, too.
|Map||PlayStation only||Vehicles||Time of Day|
|Asylum||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Bannerfall||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Bastion||No||Yes||Morning, (Afternoon), Evening, Night|
|Blind Watch||No||No||(Morning), Afternoon, Night|
|The Burning Shrine||No||No||N/A|
|Cathedral of Dusk||No||No||N/A|
|Crossroads||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Exodus Blue||No||No||Morning, Afternoon, (Evening), Night|
|Firebase Delphi||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|First Light||No||Yes||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Frontier||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Momento||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Sector 618||Yes||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Shores of Time||No||No||Dawn, Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Skyline||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Skyshock||No||Yes||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|Thieves' Den||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
|The Timekeeper||No||No||Dawn, Morning, (Afternoon), Evening, Night|
|Twilight Gap||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Evening, Night|
|Widow's Court||No||No||Morning, (Afternoon), Night|
Note - Any time of day in brackets are the default options.
Other Private Match settings:
As well as the all-important mode and map selection, you can also tweak:
- Score Limit - This is the objective for players or teams to reach to win the match, and changes according to the Mode you play.
- Time Limit - How long the match runs for is the Score Limit isn't met - usually is between 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 12 minutes, 15 minutes and 30 minutes.
- Light Level - This takes into account the players' Light Level, and can be turned on (as seen in Iron Banner, Trials of Osiris) or kept off.
- Vehicles - Dependant on the map - see above table for the complete list. Note that this doesn't impact Turrets, or the ability for players to use their own Sparrows.
- Time of Day - Dependant on the map - see above table for the complete list.
Want more Destiny: Rise of Iron guides, tips and tricks? Then read our Wrath of the Machine walkthrough and guides, complete list of all Dormant SIVA Cluster locations, tips on how to reach Destiny's max Light level, how to complete the Exotic Gjallarhorn Quest, Khvostov 7G-OX Quest and Thorn Quest and new modes Vanguard Elite Strike Scoring and SRL.
Other things to know about Private Matches in Destiny
- Up to 12 players - up to six per team - can play team-based matches, or a total of six for a free-for-all game. You can make teams uneven - so fight five versus two - and enter as few players as you like, paving the way for tense one-on-one matches (which work surprisingly well on huge maps, as both players spar off with mind-games and close radar-watching) or even go in solo, letting you explore each map at your own pace for the first time.
- One of the best surprises is the addition of Dead Ghosts in Destiny's Crucible mode. Previously only found in the environmental parts of the game (Story missions, Patrol, Raids), one of these collectibles have been hidden away in each arena, and only as part of Private Matches - not regular playlists. You can see where each one is located in the previous link.
- Another neat surprise is you can unlock Daily Crucible Bounties in the mode, as well as earn 30 Faction experience points per win, work on Gunsmith weapon progress, and receive (up to Rare / blue) Engram drops for completing matches - so even the most casual session with friends will reward you in some way.
- Three of Coins usage, and progress towards Quests, Weekly Bounties and Record Books aren't available in Private Matches. And while you won't be able to get map or mode specific Grimoire cards, progress towards Grimoire mode wins and kills are active.
- Several modes are missing from the playlist, such as Sparrow League Racing and Doubles. This is because they're part of the Destiny's seasonal events, and hopefully they'll be added when they roll again - even if only temporarily.
- There is a neat Easter Egg when playing in Elimination in Private Matches - if all players on both teams wave at the same time, the Heavy ammo drop won't appear in a later round.
- Private Matches are available to all Destiny players, even those without any expansions. Upon Rise of Iron's release, all maps added in previous expansion packs (The Dark Below, House of Wolves and The Taken King) will be available to all players, even if they don't own these expansions.
- Rise of Iron's new Supremacy mode and four new maps (Floating Gardens, Icarus, Last Exit, Skylines) are missing from the roster right now, and will only be available to those who own the new expansion.
- Like other Crucible playlists, you'll need to have a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription to access.
- Maps Sector 618 and Icarus are both exclusive to PlayStation platforms.
- As with other Rise of Iron updates, Private Matches aren't available on Xbox 360 or PS3.
- As well as the Private Match update rolling out with improved in-game Clan visibility within the pause menu, Bungie has also opened the door to tournaments with prize pools.
- Provided the roster isn't full, you are able to switch teams during Private Match, by either tapping the shoulder buttons in the lobby, or by selecting the Navigator, then the Scoreboard when alive during play. Note that for the latter personal score is deleted, but their overall contribution to their team is not.
- Voice chat is open to all in the Private Match in the lobby, but during play, you can switch between your Team and Fireteam specifically.
- Private Matches can be set as both private and open at any time.
- You can kicked out of a Private Match for inactivity - even if you are in there alone.